July Dance Bursts Outdoors


July is a great month for outdoor entertainment. Chicago dance is taking advantage of balmy weather and great outdoor venues, including a myriad of public parks where “Dance In The Parks” offers free performances all over the city. Rhythm World returns to Navy Pier July 18th, and watch for "Summerdance" coming up in August. But if air conditioning is your idea of a good escape on a hot night, there’s Thodos Dance Chicago’s “New Dances 2018” (July 1) with a preview of new works by a variety of seasoned and up and coming choreographers, as well as "inFormal Performances, TheJIM" July 6 and 13, and The Chicago Human Rhythm Project, always spectacular, presenting “JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance” at the Studebaker Theater July 20-21. See Details below.


NEW DANCES 2018, a partnership between Thodos Dance Chicago and DanceWorks Chicago, returns to its original home in the Ruth Page Center. Choreographers include Shannon Alvis, Braeden Barnes, Katlin Michael Bourgeois, J’Sun Howard, Chris Johnson, and Anna Long. (5 PM, July 1, Ruth Page Center)Thodos Dance Chicago


inFORMAL PERFORMANCES, The JIM continues with two more casual evenings of intimate showings by standout contemporary dance artists, ranging from performance research, to spontaneous compositions, works-in-progress, and more refined choreographic work. (7:30 PM, Friday, July 6, featuring Onye Ozuzu, Michelle Boule (NY) and Julia Rae Antonick/Jonathan Meyer/Amanda Maraist; 7:30 PM, Friday July 13, featuring Marguerite Hemmings/Daniel Woods (NY), Kristina Isabelle, Jonathan Meyer, Jessica Marasa/Katie Ernst (Evergreen); Hamlin Park Fieldhouse Theater.) 

“in Formal” showings are part of the JIMi (The Joy in Moving Intensive), a collaboration between The Watering Can Dance and The Chicago Moving Company.  Please note:  The JIMi organizers ask all to play with the dress code for these evenings and encourage all to attend these In Formal Showings in “formal wear”.  “Formal Wear” for this purpose includes, and is not limited to, the fancier items hanging in your closet that you rarely wear, your favorite informal cozy cotton home body attire, and/or the random and un-pairable item that brings you joy! These evenings are included to celebrate Every Body as we join in the act of sharing, being vulnerable and showing our community what we find beautiful.  Playing with your dress is an invitation, not an obligation.  It is yet another avenue of expression where we can intentionally cultivate joy in ourselves and our community. 


DANCE IN THE PARKS celebrates its 10th summer season of bringing FREE professional dance concerts to Chicago's neighborhood parks with a 14-performance season running July 10-August 3.

In partnership with Mayor Emanuel's Night Out in the Parks intitiative, the performances feature contemporary and modern dance works created and performed by professional Chicago artists including choreographers  Paige Caldarella, Peter Carpenter, Joshua Blake Carter, Becca Lemme, Lizzie MacKenzie, Thomas Mattingly, Mariana Oliveira, and Michel Rodriguez Cintra. Dancers Django Allegretti, Miranda Borkan, Katy Fedrigon, Irina Goldman, Jesse Hoisington, Craig V. Miller,  Natalie Tursi, and Maxwell Perkins have worked for Chicago companies including Inaside Chicago Dance, Chicago Reperty Ballet, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Nomi Dance Company, Hedwig Dances, and Level Dance among others. 

All performances are FREE and begin at 6 PM:

 Tuesday, July 10—Lakeshore Park, 808 N.Lake Shore Dr.

Wednesday, July 11—Kenwood Community Park, 1330 E. 50th Street

Friday, July 13—Athletic Field Park, 3546 W. Addison

Monday, July 16—Palmer Park, 201 E. 111th St.

Tuesday, July 17—Kelwyn Park, 4438 W. Wrightwood

Wednesday, July 18—Durkin Park, 8445 S. Kolin Ave.

Friday, July 20—Rutherford-Sayre Park, 6871 W. Belden Ave.

Saturday July 21 and Monday, July 30—Shedd Park, 3660 W. 23rd St.

Sunday, July 22, Wed, July 25, and Tues, July 31—Pasteur Park, 5825 S. Kostner

Tuesday, July 24—Ellis Park, 3520 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Wednesday, July 25—Paschen Park, 1932 W. Lunt

Friday, July 27—Jefferson Park, 4822 N. Long Ave.,  and Foster Park, 1440 W. 84th St.

Saturday, July 28—Davis Square Park, 4430 S. Marchfield Ave.

Sunday, July 29—Ping Tom Memorial Park, 1700 S. Wentworth Ave.

Wednesday, August 1—Davis Square Park, 4430 S. Marchfield Ave.

Friday, August 3—Ada Park, 11250 S. Ada St.Dance In The Parks


FRESH FEST! presented by Allstate Insurance Company and Forward Momentum Chicago (4 PM, JULY 12, 600 E. Grand Ave.) is a two-day showcase of Chicago’s talented performing artists, presenting a range of musical and dance talent in a variety of styles, including blues, classical, rock, jazz and more.


AERIAL DANCE CHICAGO’s signature style of contemporary-dance-in-flight comes alive in “Blackbird,” an evening length work inspired by the symbolic freedom and mysticism of the blackbird (JULY 14, 7PM/ JULY 15, 5 PM/ RUTH PAGE CENTER). With original movement by award winning choreographers Chloe Jensen, Karen Fisher Doyle and Tracy Von Kaenel, this work skillfully blends the artistry of eleven dancers performing from earth to sky. Urging spiritual discovery and awareness, the blackbird signifies new potential. Through this interpretation, the choreography investigates darkness versus light, vulnerability versus strength and the impetus to move beyond a bounded existence toward the discovery of flight.Aerial Dance Chicago


PERCEPTUAL MOTION, INC. presents “Dancing in the Square,” an eclectic evening of dance performance and dance lessons.  Some of the area’s finest dance organizations will present performances followed by dance lessons.  If you've always wanted to learn the rhythms of flamenco, how to express your thoughts in movement, or simply dance like no one is watching, here's your chance!  (Sunday, July 15, 6:00–7:30 pm, Northcenter Town Square, 4100 N. Damen)


RHYTHM WORLD’s Opening Night celebration at Chicago’s finest jazz club presents some of the worlds most celebrated tap dancers with special guests and a spectacular jazz trio.  Specific line-up information coming soon.  Make your reservations now…this event always sells out! (7:30 PM, JULY 16, JAZZ SHOWCASE)

Rhythm World’s STUDENT SHOWCASE AND CUTTING CONTEST (6:30 PM, JULY 17, CURTISS HALL, FINE ARTS BLDG.) presents the face off of Rhythm World students in its annual improvisation tournament, the cutting contest, Experience their fantastic showmanship in the Student Showcase. Both events are presented back-to-back. Tickets are only available at the door for $5 and get you access to everything for the night!


Join Choreographer and Artistic Director of Erica Mott Productions, ERICA MOTT (2010 Lab Artist) in conversation with Choreographer and Artistic Director of Ezzat Ezzat Contemporary Dance Studios (Cairo, Egypt) for an interactive lecture demonstration of new technologies used in the creation of their collaboration, Mycelial Street Parliament premiering at Hyde Park Arts Center July 13-15 & 19-21, 2018. THE LECTURE/DEMONSTRATION, sponsored by the Chicago Dancemakers Forum will take place at 6 PM, July 18 AT THE HYDE PARK ART CENTER. Developed through a series of one-to-one cultural exchanges between Egyptian and American musical composers, dancers, technologists and new media artists, Mycelial: Street Parliament, is an interactive exhibition that examines civic participation, social movements and interconnectedness in the digital age. The work presented in Mycelial: Street Pa, rliament draws on data obtained from the original digital expressions (text messages, images, emojjs, etc.) of activists involved in Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street to ask whether art and technology can create an a cultural experience that resembles the physical and emotional sensations of a social uprising. What are our embodied experiences of occupation and revolution? Where does resistance live outside of kind acts towards one-another or protests?

Stay after the lecture demo from 7:00 - 9:00 PM to tour the exhibit and enjoy a musical set mixed live by award wining Egyptian electronic music composer and Mycelial collaborator, Ahmed Saleh. 


For its second year, RHYTHM WORLD artists will be performing at Navy Pier! (6:30 PM, JULY 18, NAVY PIER) This event is free for the public and will include performances ranging from students at the festival, local Chicago dancers, and the master faculty.


JUBA! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance (7:30 PM, JULY 20-21, STUDEBAKER THEATER, 410 S. MICHIGAN Ave.) presents an evening packed with extraordinary foot drummers and percussive arts masters from around the globe sharing the stage – Superstars Caleb Teicher and Sam Weber join forces for a classic American tap duet; the amazing Ayodele Casel returns to Rhythm World with her extraordinary improvisational repartee; CHRP’s Stone Soup Rhythms ensemble will premiere innovative, multi-dimensional choreography led by Dani Borak, Artist in Residence; and, virtuoso Cartier Williams will perform his newest show, Zigity Bop! with special guests Star Dixon, Luke Hickey, Aqura Lacey, Tokumi Watanabe and Lacey Thomas.CHRP JUBA! LindaMontiEllison


DANCE DOWNS IN THE PARK is a performance series hosted by Shkunna Stewart and The Era Footwork Crew. “Dance Downs” are historic black Chicago talent showcases and today are inspired by modern dance styles like bopping, Chicago footwork, online dance challenges and TV shows like Bring It and America’s Got Talent. SummerDance will feature three dance downs at Hamilton Park Cultural Center,on Saturday, July 21, Austin Town Hall Park and Saturday, August 18, and culminates at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park on Sunday, August 25, at the SummerDance Celebration.


DANCECHANCE (7 PM, July 27, LOU CONTE DANCE STUDIO), presented by DanceWorks Chicago in partnership with the Lou Conte Dance Studio. DanceChance is a one-hour event designed to offer opportunities for choreographers to show their work informally, create a forum for dialogue among artists, and build audience for dance. Inspired by the concept of open-mic night, DanceChance is held once a month and features 3 choreographers chosen by chance, each of whom has a 15-minute time slot to share their work. To round out the hour, the final 15-minute segment is a moderated meet-the-artist session providing an opportunity for choreographers to discuss their work and process as well as time for the audience to ask questions. At the end of each DanceChance, the next trio of participants is chosen from names submitted by choreographers in attendance.


The Nippon Ginkenshibu Foundation and Asian Improv aRts Midwest-Tsukasa Taiko present “Ginkenshibu 50th Anniversary Live Collaboration with Tsukasa Taiko,” directed by Risho Hayabuchi, (5 PM, July 29, Museum of Contemporary Art) This free, hour-long performance uniting Gin-ei (a type of Asian poetry) with Japanese drum and traditional performing arts features a cast of more than 50 singers and dancers and is presented in honor of the Nippon Ginkenshibu Foundation’s 50th Anniversary.Ginkenshibu


For details and  to purchase tickets, go to SeeChicagoDance.com,  click on “See Dance,” and choose “Calendar” to find your event.